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Bowhunting With Crabby 2002 - the Ohio Rut
The Digital Log Of A Bowhunt With Dennis Crabtree - by Robert Hoague

Dennis Crabtree (Crabby), Dick Pippenger (Pip), Kevin Dill & I are bowhunting in Ohio.

Day 12: An Ending To Remember 
Morning: Dennis saw a young 8-pt close-up and a bomber that was too far away. At Scrape City 2 does went behind me early. Later 2 more solo does walked under me. Then 3 more does came through and bedded down 65 yards away -- a fact I didn't know until I saw the flags as I started down my tree at 11:00. 
Afternoon: We both went to Scrape City, looking for the "Hoss Cat" buck. We both saw the same doe out in the adjacent field. Forty minutes before dark Dennis heard a group of wild turkeys. I, however, saw them up close and personal -- they flew up in the trees next to me. Then the sun set and darkness came -- as I set there with the hens and jakes around me. It'll probably take a week to wipe the smile off my face.

Day 11: A Cold But Slow Monday 
The morning kicked off at a frosty 19-degrees. Dennis saw a doe and a 8-point. I zipped. On the afternoon hunt I saw 2 does and Dennis zipped.

Day 10: A Little Help From Our Friends 
Morning Hunt:  When I came in from hunting Dennis was already there with his grandsons Bradin and Rusty, he said, "We got us a deer to find." In short order we were at the edge of the thick woods where the deer, a longhead doe, went in. Bradin and Rusty led the way down the trail. "I see it," the boys exclaimed, sure enough they had, it had gone only 30 yards into the brush. We took pictures and then the boys said they were going to drag the deer out. Dennis and I helped out :-) 
Ok guys, here are pictures for your computers: 1042 x 768, 800 x 600 or 640 x 480
Dennis had shot the deer earlier and felt it may have been a marginal hit. He watched the deer enter the brush where we found it and after a short wait Dennis left the area so he wouldn't pressure the deer. As it turned out the deer was already dead but it is always better to be safe.
Afternoon Hunt: Dennis hunted the Scurlock stand again and a nice 10-point walked by the stand, but Dennis is looking for the "hoss cat" buck.
I hunted the Little Texas hill. Here is a pic of my setup in a Double Bull blind, plus here is a doe 8 yards from me
Note: We saw several Bucks while we were driving and they were all alone, which means they are looking for does. (The rut has just peaked here and fewer does are available now, that means bucks will be on the move and checking scrapes again.)

Day 9: Litle Texas in Ohio ...
Morning Hunt:  Dennis hunted Scurlock Hill again. I had to wait until daylight to find my way in to the scrape in the Little Texas area so I laid down a few minutes and, uh, well ... fell asleep. And didn't wake up until 9:50am. Early on Dennis saw a buck working a doe. Another buck made a rub at the edge of the field. A doe and button head went down the fence row. Lastly, a big doe came across the field alone. Then Dennis set a new stand where the "hoss cat" buck had been yesterday. 
Afternoon Hunt: Dennis hunted the new Scurlock stand and saw 2 does and 2 fawns. I set up a Double Bull blind in the thick brush near the scrape I found yesterday. I was the only one that visited the area.
Note: The larger Bucks are being seen alone now rather than with does. The rut has just peaked here and fewer does are available now, that means bucks will be on the move and checking scrapes again for the does that will come in soon.

Day 8: Crabby, "A hoss cat, a real eye popper!"
Morning Hunt:  A chilly but beautiful morning at Scrape City. I grunted at 8:15 and a spike buck came out of the gully below and walked right under me. (2 Spike pics.) Both Dennis and Pip saw one doe each. Pip reported that when he parked his truck the "biggest buck I've ever seen" walked right in front of his truck, 6 feet away. 
Note: I told Dennis I wanted to give my area a rest for a couple of days and hunt somewhere else.
Afternoon Hunt:  Drizzling rain and overcast. Dennis drove me to his Little Texas area. This place is really thick. I hunted in a huge tree in the only group of trees on the brushy hillside. I'm not used to being 30 feet up and it took a while to get used to it. A Sixer calmed my nerves and walked by a few minutes after I sat down. (3 Sixer pics.) Later a big doe passed by through just out of range. Dennis hunted Scurlock Hill. A small buck chased a doe through the area at 4:00. Dennis bleated and a 8-pt walked under his "toes" and proceeded over the hill. Seconds later a huge buck came from where the 8 had gone. It passed Dennis at 35 yards. His rack has tremendous mass and is very high. Dennis told me, "he is the biggest buck I've seen this season, he is a hoss cat, a real eye popper."
Planning: On the way to the Little Texas stand I found two "hot hot" scrapes in the brushy area. Tomorrow I am going in with a Double Bull blind and setting up so I can cover it. Right now the bucks are walking and looking for does all day long, I think this will work.

Day 7: Pip Meets A Bomber 10 Point...
Morning Hunt:  Pip went on alert when he saw a doe followed by 6 bucks, the leader was a bomber 10 point, and they were slowly headed in Pip's direction. The buck was huge and his big rack was almost white. Pip thought  "It couldn't be happening better" as the group slowly came closer. Then the doe changed directions just out of range. But the bomber continued on, and 15 yards away, stopped and turned broadside. Pip drew his recurve, touched his anchor and released. A miss! The buck ran to the doe and the entire group stayed in the area for 45 minutes. Pip watched as the bomber challenged and chased the other bucks away from the doe.
The rest of the day I saw one doe and Dennis saw a 9-point work a scrape. Pip saw another hot doe with a 6-pt and spike trailing her. The spike broke off and worked a scrape near Pip.

DAY #6 - Nov 13
Day 6, Morning Hunt:  The first deer movement was after 10:00am, I saw a doe uphill, walking along (first picture). Five minutes later a Forky came out of the brush and move toward the scrape. This buck was in a fight also and has two antler wounds from antler tines, on his side and back. In the pictures you can see him rub his face on the branches above the scrape. The last picture shows you how close I am to the scrape -- 12 yards. Here are the Pictures. Pip saw a small 4 point and Dennis saw a sixer and a doe.
Afternoon Hunt:  At 5:10 a sixer came from downwind and worked the scrape (my camera batery was low so no pictures). As the light faded a lone doe came from the same direction and worked the scrape. Tomorrow morning I am going in extra early to be sure I don't spook anything. Pip saw another forky and a doe. Dennis saw a young 8 and a sixer.

DAY #5 - Nov 12 - A Tending Buck

Morning hunt:  Every time the light wind gusted  at Scrape City, I was thinking, "I should have put on more thermals." The breeze sure was chilly. At 8:05 I saw a doe in the thick brush uphill and caught glimpses of it until 9:30. Then I heard several LOUD grunts and the chase was on, but they didn't come my way. Minutes later a large fawn followed their trail uphill. At 11:10 I saw the doe again, walking in the gully below me, with a nervous acting young buck and a bomber following her. Soon the fawn followed their trail. The rut is definitely in the peak phase here. (Here's a closeup of the Scrape City breeding scrape in the picture above.)
Dennis saw a big 9-point and started seeing other deer but had his hunt disputed by 2 dogs chasing deer. Pip saw a sixer work a scrape. 
Lunch: Dennis grilled us moose burgers for lunch. Good stuff. I had to work so I returned to the house.
Afternoon Hunt: Pip saw a doe, a sixer, a young 8 with broken tines and a spike. The 125 8-pt returned and walked within 10 yards of Pip. He considered shooting but he passed, a great buck for future years. Dennis was covered up with rut action. 5:00 a young 8 came out of a bedding area. Then a 120 class 8-pt trailed the first 8. Dennis long grunted and the buck came to him. The buck stopped and made a rub 15 yards away. Then he walked by the stand at 10 yards, Dennis passed the shot -- "see ya next year", the buck stopped under Dennis's "toes" and then to an existing rub and rubbed it, smelled it, and licked it.

DAY #4 - Nov 11
Morning hunt:  Daylight came slowly at Scrape City. An 8-point came out of a nearby gully and walked to the scrape and worked it. (Videos working Scrape 1Scrape 2) This buck has been in a violent buck fight and was badly cut on the right side and the front shoulder. Pics of the 8-pt. (Crabby saw him Friday and he was ok.) Ten minutes later a 3-point approached and worked the scrape (to the Pics). A doe came out of the gully with her flag up. She stopped and looked around. Soon a button buck walked by me and joined her. (Doe & Button Pictures.) Next I saw an unidentified deer moving quickly in the thick brush. I grunted and while I watched the brush another buck came up on my right and looked around. Pip passed on a big bodied 125 8-point and saw a 4-point. Dennis saw a 7-point work a scrape, the 8-point Pip saw, a wide 4-point on the ridge, and a sixer on the scrape. 

Afternoon hunt:  Driving to the woods Crabby and I saw a buck with a doe on the edge of a field. At 300 yards this monster had a humongous rack, in my binoculars I counted 10 long points on heavy beams. The scrape at Scrape City was covered with leaves this morning and when I left it was a foot long. Now it is four feet long and dug all up. Scrape pics. At day's end a lone doe walked by me Day's End Doe.

DAY #3 - Nov 10
Morning hunt: Rain. Thunder. Lightning. A dangerous combination. And an opportunity for a little extra sleep.
12:37: It stopped rianing. Scrape City here I come.

Afternoon hunt: It was 77 degrees when we came out of the woods, very hot for November. The wind was strong and had the treetops swaying. No one saw any deer.

DAY #2, Nov 9 
Morning hunt:Crabby saw an 8-point 1 button head. Pip 2 saw another 8-point and 2 does. After the trip I was too tired to go out and slept in.

Scrape City, Afternoon Hunt: At 3:00 I strapped my Treesuit to me and to a tree in Scrape City. The temperature was 72 degrees, very warm for here. Twenty minutes later I heard a deer behind me and shifted around the tree (easy to do in the Treesuit). It was breathing hard and moving, I got one pic. Next I saw two deer in the scrape area. Lastly a lone fawn walked down the hill in front of me and searched for black oak acorns in the leaves. A very relaxing afternoon. I was the only one to see any deer this afternoon. Here are my pictures from the stand. Right now everyone is hitting the sack. 4:30am comes early.

DAY #1, Ohio 2002 Deerhunt
Kevin Dill Finds A Bomber
Kevin Dill returned to his home business and saw a not from his wife. She had seen a large buck along the edge of the woods, downhill from their house. Kevin walked outside and to his surprise, 150 yards away, he saw two deer, one had a big rack. Kevin got his video camera and took video as the buck pursued a hot doe around the woods edge. Both deer cleared this wooden gate and they disappeared into the woods. Kevin already had a stand 35 yards from that gate and he decided to hunt there in the afternoon. Here's what happened (with pics)

Crabby rattled in an 8-point, he marked an overhead limb and peed on his hocks and walked under Dennis's stand. The rest of the day he saw 2 more bucks, a doe and a fawn.

Pip 2 saw an 8-point and young buck & 3 does. 

I arrived too late for the morning hunt. On the afternoon hunt I sat on a treestand in an island of trees inside several acres of planted pines. No deer moved where I could see them.

About Dennis Crabtree (Crabby)

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